Zionsville Education Foundation announces 2021 spring grants 

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The Zionsville Education Foundation announced more than $28,000 in grants to Zionsville Community Schools teachers.

Fourteen ZEF 2021 Spring Classroom Grants totaling $21,351.63 and seven ZEF Imagine Professional Development Grants totaling $7,073 were awarded to 45 ZCS educators across the school district. The grants fund a variety of projects in and out of the classroom, giving teachers needed resources for the opportunity for professional growth and continued learning.

The grants fund projects in STEM, literacy, special education, foreign language, wellness and arts. Guided reading library texts will give teachers access to books with diverse characters and those created by authors and illustrators from diverse backgrounds. Lab materials will give middle school teachers the tools they need to expand a successful pilot program to use the argument-driven inquiry method in science classes. Novels in Spanish will strengthen skills for foreign language learners. Updated technology in the Zionsville Community High School choir room will expand opportunities for students, and creative tools for teaching geometry take learning from the abstract to the concrete, ZEF Executive Director Lyle Browne stated.

“The unprecedented circumstances of the past year have caused teachers to rethink, reimagine, and rework their classrooms in so many ways,” Browne stated. “They have not only done a remarkable job during a difficult year, but these grants show that they continue to look forward and work hard for their students. Whether it is an innovative classroom project or time spent expanding their educational knowledge, ZCS teachers are uniquely dedicated to their students.”

ZEF Imagine Professional Development Grants provide growth and renewal opportunities for ZCS educators with a minimum of three years of full-time experience. The grants awarded this spring provide professional development opportunities for 12 educators at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

“These grants are made possible by the incredible generosity of our community – individuals, families, small businesses, and corporations – that believe in the great work being done by our teachers in and out of the classroom,” ZEF Grants Chair and board member Jane Louiso stated.

Some projects funded by the grants are listed below:

Equipped for Inquiry – Shannon Eaton and Angie Miller, Zionsville West Middle School ($384.04) This grant enables the expansion of a successful pilot program using the argument driven inquiry method in science classes by providing manuals and lab materials for teachers and students.

Creating Cultural Understandings Through Holidays – MacKenzie Luse, Boone Meadow Elementary ($345.55)

The project supports Boone Meadow Elementary kindergarten learners in becoming culturally adept and broadening their global perspectives by allowing windows into different cultures through the study of holidays.

Nuestra Pequeña Biblioteca – Kristen Travers, Zionville Middle School and Zionsville West Middle School  ($769.72)

Provides 31 different leveled Spanish novels for each middle school, allowing students to strengthen their Spanish language reading skills.

Tweener Weights for Tweener Lifters – Juli Speer, Amy Emkow, JR Howell, Scott Turnquist, David Williams, Zionsville Community High School ($126.84)

Novice lifters often have difficulty jumping to a full 5 pounds of added weight. The addition of 1.5-pound weight plates provides a safe way to help students reach their maximum potential in lifting as well as aid those  recovering from injury.

Acceptance of Other Book Club – Kim Lalley, Zionsville Middle School ($537.72)

ZMS 5th graders will have access to books about various cultures. Students will choose a book, read it in a small group, have quality book discussion and connect it to their own lives. The books will serve as mirrors for  students to reflect on their individual experiences and windows to open their eyes to different cultures across  the world, according to ZEF.

Identity and Inclusion: Teaching Tolerance Begins with Sharing our Stories – Emily Wleklinski and Angela  Parker, Zionsville Middle School ($605.85)

The grant provides materials for a 5th-through-8th-grade book club to inspire students to develop cultural understandings and respect for the diversity of our Zionsville community through book studies, engagement with guest speakers and development of advocacy and service projects.

Enhancing Choir Instruction with Technology – Sam Chenoweth, Zionsville Community High School ($2,155)

The ZCHS choir room will receive materials to help give students a modern choral experience. Upgrades to audio technology and the addition of teacher microphones will ensure consistent resources and provide  unique learning opportunities for all choir students.

Building Z-West One Student at a Time – Trisha Smart, Zionsville West Middle School ($934.83)

Strength-training materials for all fitness levels and multiple areas of the body will be added to ZWMS wellness classes. They will provide an additional activity and a resource for all classes for years to come.

Making Math Class Memorable with Magna-Tiles – Liz Ferrand and Shannon Eaton, Zionsville West Middle School ($719.94)

Hands-on materials provided by this grant will foster understanding of geometric concepts. Magna-Tiles in the mathematics classroom will allow teachers to be able to move the concepts that students are learning from the abstract to the concrete.

Engaging our Kindy Readers with Engaging Reader Text Sets! – Jill McCune, Tina Boudreau, Megan Fischer, Grace Gardner, Amanda Hassen, Jen Hilton, Alyssa Kayes, Pleasant View Elementary ($2,823.44)

The text sets will be shared among the PVE kindergarten classes. A wide range of authors and characters will give students diverse stories as they improve their reading and writing skills.

For more, visit ZionsvilleEducationFoundation.org.


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